Minnesota seniors facing a spike in long-term care cost

  • Article by: WARREN WOLFE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 19, 2012 - 10:04 AM

Thousands of Minnesotans have seen premiums rise by up to 90 percent to cover nursing home or other care.

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robertweed69Mar. 18, 12 9:10 PM

Many f these plans have not had an increase in 10 years. Hancock has provided away to avoid the increase by lowering the inflation. Most of these plans had an inflation factor of 5 percent. Most long term care is custodial and has increased les than that amount. They also can lock in the gains they have had without the increase. Long term care insurance is essential so people can protect assets and be sure they are never a burden on family.

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fuzzy48Mar. 18, 12 9:18 PM

I "retired" in 2005. I turned my group policy to an individual policy at that time. "COBRA" ran out and my individual policy at age 62 went from $480 / month to $980. I've since been working because I have to have the insurance. Never in my dreams would I have believed that I would be working for $9.27 / hr, but I have my health & vision care provided for approx. $150 per month. VERY lucky for me, I take no presctiption meds, or I'd be screwed for sure. I have no "Long-term" care provider yet. I don't know that I will ever be able to handle that. The thihg that people just won't recognize is thier own life-span. I totally understand that rates have to rise as we age, but if someone is entered into a contract with an insurance Co. - That contract should be valid until its expiration, - Of course, I've been wrong before...

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rafannonMar. 18, 12 9:47 PM

No one controls anything about nursing homes and their prices or care...They prey on the elderly...The insurance company determines when you need the care and how much you need. Most people when they go in a nursing home dont live alot longer once in the nursing home.

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swthrt124Mar. 18, 12 9:57 PM

That's what happens when medicare cuts it funding to nursing homes by 12%. We're tightening our belts in the LTC industry to cover the cut so the customer won't suffer. I guess the insurance carriers have no intention of doing that... just please don't criminalize the nursing homes when its the caregivers stuck in the middle. No raises for our staff this year and they're talking about not matching our 401K like they promised if we don't make our budget when thats near impossible to do with the budget we're given.

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schaferltcMar. 18, 1210:03 PM

I’d like to see journalists cover government’s deficient LTC programs and unfunded liabilities as assiduously as they write about challenges to the LTC insurance industry. The awful irony is that private companies are behaving responsibly by either making sure they can pay for their LTCI policy promises or getting out of the business, whereas government endlessly continues its financial irresponsibility with no hope of meeting its long-term commitments.

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teddygMar. 18, 1210:06 PM

Some of Minnesota's healthcare cost challenges are self-inflicted and fairly well documented. MN is know as a 'high-pay' Medicaid state, meaning that the state allows greater fees for medical services than do most other states. As Medicaid is the largest payor in MN, that generosity quickly trickles down to private healthcare. Its inconceivable for a private health plan to demand lower fees from providers when Medicaid is paying well.

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pinky1933Mar. 18, 1210:37 PM

single-payer health care - full stop!

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jimmyjames76Mar. 18, 1211:04 PM

When rates go up this much this quickly it's an obvious money grab. Someone is going to get rich off this while making the majority poor. There couldn't be a better reason to get this out of the hands of private execs whose only goal is to make the most money in the shortest time possible. That's fine in most industries, but we should be better than this to the elderly.

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ndrep30Mar. 18, 1211:09 PM

Yes, and my policy provider for LTC won't allow one to increase coverage under my currant plan for the costs that are continually rising. They tell me I need another policy to make any increase in coverage. So they got you coming and going. Isn't that cool?

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martiankingMar. 18, 1211:35 PM

My parents just recently have been faced with the realities of LTC in MN. My parents didn't buy a LTC policy, being that they felt they thought it was an unnecessary expense, since they were starting to cut costs later in their lives. Now, sadly, the county and state are going to take everything that they worked so long and hard for to cover the costs of care. Medicare is worthless in this aspect. Only until they are totally broke and then eligible for Medicaid and Medical Assistance will their be help. They are very depressed that all they have will be lost, with nothing to pass on to their kids. This system is geared to rape everything from the elderly. Yes I know they should have bought LTC, but as this story shows, the insurance companies are out to make money, not be benevolent. If they need to raise premiums no matter what happens to the people, so be it. If they need to get out of selling LTC insurance because of it not being a cash cow, so be it. I would hope people are waking up more and more that insurance companies are as bad as Wall Street brokers: All they do is skim money and not provide a useful product for the growth of the country. One payer system is long overdue here in the States!

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